I Drank Warm Honey Lemon Water Every Morning for a Year (Here’s What Happened).

Via Crystal Davis
on Feb 19, 2015
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Until a few years ago, honey and lemon drinks were something I bought in a packet from the chemist when in the death-throes of a full blown flu.

Naturally, those little packets didn’t help much, so I was skeptical when I started this whole crazy challenge.

Of course, drinking real lemon juice and proper honey in warm water is a totally different experience, and with all the hype around it I embarked on a 12 month quest to see if it really was as miraculous as the trend says.

I am pleased to report I am thoroughly converted, and here is why.

1. I have not had a cold, flu or gastro illness in the entire year.

Literally. On reflection, this actually blows my mind. All of my life I’ve been a serial tonsillitis-getter, and always seemed to pick up whatever was going around. With a large family, including lots of little ones, there is always someone around who has the latest bug. I am happy to report I no longer catch them, even when it rips through the rest of the gang.

Confession: there were days I skipped totally, and though I have felt very early signs of sickness sometimes (too many sneezes in a day, run down, extra tired, suspicious tummy rumblings) nothing at all has materialised. Sure I’ve had tired days and a few headaches, but nothing to write home about.

As soon as I got back on the regime these stopped happening, and I now absolutely swear by honey/lemon—to the point I‘ve become prematurely old-aged and carry them both in my bag when I stay at friend’s places or hotels. (Should I be worried I’m also proud of this?)

2. I no longer need coffee and have become a {gasp} morning person.

The zing I get from lemon and honey first thing in the morning has become something I crave, and doesn’t leave me with headaches or the dreaded caffeine comedown. I also have more energy for longer and am quicker to smile in the a.m.

It used to take me at least an hour to open my second eye and stop grunting at people like a cavewoman, but I’m now annoying the people that love me in new and wonderful ways like throwing deep philosophical questions at them as I bound into the kitchen. I’ll need to find a new challenge soon though if I am to keep them on their toes.

3. The people around me are becoming more healthy—the biggest reward.

So this has taken the longest: to convince my family that honey and lemon can help them prevent some of their man-flu incidents.

But after playing nurse and administering my magic potion to them when they are at their most desperate, they can finally see its benefits. “Whoa! That helped straight away!” never gets old and reminds me to keep going every morning so I don’t suffer the indignities of needing to be three feet from a toilet at all times, or running through a box of tissues an hour. 

It’s such a lovely feeling to know that I can help my loved ones feel more well through something so simple and available. I have become some kind of one-trick uber-nurse, and that’s awesome.

My Recipe:

I generally use the juice of half a fresh lemon, and a decent teaspoon of organic, raw unheated honey in a standard mug with freshly boiled water that has cooled a little (but still hot enough to melt the honey). I then add a splash of cold so I can drink immediately in one go to rehydrate me as soon as I wake.

However, it does depend on the lemon and the honey, some lemons are juicier or more sour and some honeys more sweet, so experimenting is important! Also half a lemon may be too intense to start, my family uses a quarter.


Why does it work? Well, according to websites thehealthsite.com and Underground Health, there are at least nine major benefits to drinking warm honey lemon water every morning. But I’ll list my favourites here:

Keeps you regular and protects from UTIs

Because this mixture when taken first thing in the morning stimulates the digestive system, as well as hydrating the colon and more, honey lemon water keeps constipation at bay. It also acts as a diuretic, cleansing the urinary tract and ensuring no urinary tract infections. I can certainly verify this one!

Improves digestion

Every part of this drink aids in the digestive process; lemons assist your liver in producing more bile so you can break down complex foods better and use the good stuff from your meals. Honey is antibacterial which protects you from any infections you might have. It also helps with the production of mucus in the stomach, helping to flush out toxins. For this reason, it also assists with healthy weight balance.

Makes you glow with health and beauty

Lemon has many benefits for skin, but it also helps purify the blood as well as aiding in the production of new blood cells that act as cleaning agents. The water and honey create a restorative, antibacterial and collagen boosting powerhouse for your skin too.

So there you have it, my verdict is overwhelming positive and I highly, thoroughly recommend it. Plus it’s freakin’ delicious.

Disclaimer: I have become incredibly fussy about which honey and which lemons I use, and can see that makes all the difference. I am blessed to live in the pristine Tasmania, Australia where I source raw, unheated honey and organic lemons from the trees of my neighbours. When I am desperate and resort to supermarket lemons and honey, the result is not the same (it just tastes like fake sugary lemony yumminess).

Proper honey and healthily grown lemons are the key.

As well as a big handbag to carry them everywhere.


Relephant mindful market product:

Highland Bees Honey $8



The 2 Week Lemon Water Challenge.

Cold & Flu Ginger Turmeric Tonic.


Bonus: the right kind of honey.

Another way to take care of yourself: plant your own garden for fresh, cheap nutrients:


Author: Crystal Davis 

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Pixab, courtesy of author

A mindful tip for a morning to determine our day:


About Crystal Davis

Crystal Davis teaches entrepreneurs how to travel the world and make a positive global impact. Running her business from 14 countries in the past five years, she is a Guinness World Record holder, writer of articles viewed by millions, & lives by the words "impress yourself first." Enjoy her free trainings or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.


193 Responses to “I Drank Warm Honey Lemon Water Every Morning for a Year (Here’s What Happened).”

  1. patti says:

    This has done wonders for my seasonal allergies. I was told to brush with baking soda after to help with the acid.

  2. iyssa says:

    Honey dissolves very well into water, I don't really see the need to heat the water at all.
    I use honey on my face and as soon as I splash water on it, the honey rinses right off, smooth and clean.

  3. sandy douglas says:

    I’ve been drinking the lemon, honey – but with unfiltered apple cider vinegar and organic Ceylon cinnamon with water. Not heated, just put into the blender first thing in the morning. No ill effects at all – seems to be lowering my b/p like I was told it should.

  4. cart lambert says:

    Here is my own recipe for whatever it is worth. 1/2 cup warm water, pinch of Ceylon cinnamon, 1 tsp of raw honey ( I prefer the crystallized type ) and 1 capful of Bragg’s raw, organic apple cider vinegar. It is delicious. I, too, have not had a cold in the year that I have been drinking this every morning.

    I have heard about the tooth problem and have decided to use a straw also.

    The vinegar is much more convenient than lemon…..Ceylon cinnamon is less harmful to the liver and the crystallized honey is easier to measure. Good luck

  5. Hi Naveen! Thanks for getting in touch 🙂 I know that lemon can have an effect on teeth enamel because when drinking it directly touches the teeth (if a straw isn't used or we don't rinse after) but since lemon is absorbed through the gut and sent through the bloodstream, in the amounts listed I would find it hard to imagine a negative effect on bones. However, this might be something to check out with a doctor or nutritionist if it is a concern for you or your Mum? Everything in moderation 🙂

  6. Hi Fernanda! It would be awesome either way, before it would wake you up ready for the run, and after it would replenish your sugars and help the toxin flush you've created through exercise. So either way it is beneficial! 🙂

  7. That's so good to hear Patti, so many people have been telling me that it helps their allergies! I love that! The baking soda thing is ineresting, haven't heard that, but I'll look into it now that you have mentioned it! Using a straw or rinsing with water can help too. Thanks for connecting! 🙂

  8. Hi Sandy! I love apple cider vinegar too and cinnamon is next on my list to add! They are all so amazing so I can see why you're improving! Thanks for connecting here x

  9. Hi Cart! Great recipe! I looove the crystallized parts of honey so much. Apple cider vinegar is so great too, and a good substitute 🙂 Thanks for reading and sharing x

  10. Ariel N. says:

    Thanks, Here’s my recipe, take any food product, preferably fresh, local and good quality, convince yourself that this consumable product is the key to your health, longevity and well being, and it actually works, that’s what being a locavore is all about, having very positive feelings about what you consume, little thought, not making a fuss, not worrying “is this good for me? Is this killing me softly?”, “am I supposed to consume this or that?”.

    I am sure your choice is great and that it works, I just think that it’s all about the relationship we develop with food (or drink in this case) and not what’s actually in the ingredients. It’s a part of what stress management is about. “This one is the one for me, it chimes like a bell”, stress goes down, body focuses on the good stuff like repair, maintaining resilience.

  11. Connie says:

    There’s a product called Citrus Zinger which is a water bottle that comes with a built-in citrus press which makes it perfect for on-the-go – and it comes with a straw so you don’t have to worry about your teeth!

  12. Ariel N. says:

    Thanks, Here's my recipe, take any food product, preferably fresh, local and good quality, convince yourself that this consumable product is the key to your health, longevity and well being, and it actually works!
    That's what being a locavore is all about, having very positive feelings about what you consume, little thought, not making a fuss, not worrying "is this good for me? Is this killing me softly?", "am I supposed to consume this or that?".
    I am sure your choice is great and that it works, I just think that it's all about the relationship we develop with food (or drink in this case) and not what's actually in the ingredients. It's a part of what stress management is about. "This one is the one for me, it chimes like a bell", stress goes down, body focuses on the good stuff like repair, maintaining resilience.

  13. Rebecca says:

    Can you use lemon essential oils?

  14. Ashish says:

    You are doing good except that honey is best taken with warm water, about 40 C, studies suggest that too high temperature is not good for honey!

  15. Leigh says:

    What about your teeth? I love my lemon water, but my teeth get so sensitive and that acid does a number on your enamel. Have been thinking of buying some kind of stainless steel straw to drink it out of. Any suggestions? (P.S. Rebecca, it’s never recommended to ingest essential oils.)

  16. Gabe says:

    I have 100% bottled lemon juice. Can I use this instead of fresh lemon? Or should I say is this as effective as fresh lemon?

  17. Linda says:

    I've found the raw honey in our local Hy-Vee in west central MN. Also, organic lemons, though they look the same as regular ones to me.

  18. Colleen says:

    Were these differences noticed with just one glass a day? or several?

  19. james says:

    40C will cause severe burns to your mouth! Not a good idea at all

  20. Hi Rebbecca 🙂 Do you mean instead of fresh lemon? As with anything fresh is absolutely best, I also include the pulp in the drink and a fresh organic lemon has benefits that an essential oil doesn't. I am not sure how well it would work with only the essential oil instead, but if you try it please do let me know! Crystal x

  21. Hi Ashish! Yes, once honey is above 40c it begins to lose some of its beneficial properties (this is explained in my ebook on my website above). It is important to let freshly boiled water cool before adding it and let the honey melt slowly in the warm water. Thanks for reading! Crystal 🙂

  22. Hi Leigh! Yes, this can be an issue over time especially for sensitive teeth. In my free ebook above this is addressed, a stainless steel or bamboo straw is a great idea if it causes you discomfort as you drink and I've included some places to source these in the book. Swishing with water after is also great. Thanks for clearing up the essential oils question! Crystal 🙂

  23. Hi Gabe! Fresh is definitely best. As with anything, the sooner it is consumed from the moment it is picked (i.e. disconnected from the life source) the more beneficial properties it retains. However, I know that there are some parts of the world where fresh lemons aren't available at all! In that case, substituting for apple cider vinegar might be a better option than bottled lemon juice. Good luck! Crystal 🙂

  24. Hi Colleen! Just one, first hing in the morning 20-60mins before eating. I would only have more than one if I did get sick (I have given this to family members a few times a day when they've fallen ill and they have improved super fast). The sugar and acid content would not be a great idea several times a day over long periods though. Thanks so much for reading! Crystal 🙂

  25. Roman says:

    So many people don’t actually understand why honey is anti-bacterial. It’s not because it possesses anti-bacterial chemicals, but because of the concentration of sugar (to put it shortly). Cells cannot live in or on honey because they would be exposed to extreme osmotic pressures, and thus would lyse. By diluting the honey in water, you are actually removing this characteristic of honey. Honey has other natural benefits, but helping to prevent infections is definitely NOT one of them.

  26. Nick says:

    My girlfriend and I have been doing this now for about 2-3 weeks and really have noticed a difference. Totally for it! But, question… Someone I mentioned this to talked about how damaging it is to your teeth enamel due to all of the acid in the lemon. What are your thoughts on this? They said it wouldn't be noticeable for years, but in the long run, you're hurting your teeth… Still plan to drink the "life-give nectar", but want to know if you have any remedies for this factor.

  27. Sherrie says:

    I just quit smoking 5 days ago. So far so good, I think I will try this lemon/honey/ water drink. Ok now some of you add cinnamon too? How does that work? Thank you

  28. Sherrie Ashenbremer says:

    Thank you for all this good information.

  29. janet says:

    I drank warm water with the juice of half a lemon every morning and within two weeks I had no more cough and acid reflux or heartburn. The cough was actually acid reflux. It just disappeared. I will try it with honey too.

  30. Crystal says:

    I'm used to prepare in advance a concentrated elixir of:

    2 lemons or limes – zest and juice – for the lemon zest, you may insist a bit further than just the coloured part, and go a bit into the white part, just slightly. It makes it bitter, but it is said to contain some very healing elements
    2 or more thumb sized fresh ginger root
    2-4 tbs honey

    find the right proportions for you, you may prefer more or less ginger, lemon components or honey, though honey helps preserve the mix

    mix it and put aside in the fridge in a well closed glass jar

    Whenever a cold or a difficult digestion are showing up, take a wee bit of it as is, maybe one teaspoon full or or more or less at a time, again according to how you are feeling.

    Or use this mix daily in water best in the morning before taking any food.

    You may want to add to the mix some turmeric powder – I have no fresh turmeric root here, but if I would, I'd advise to use it fresh. Which can make it further a bit bitter, but which appears to be a fantastic ingredient for healing and preservation of health.

    Blessings :o)

  31. Crystal says:

    Oh yes: preferably drink it without heating it, as the vital components, like enzymes in the honey, are definitely making this mix a very powerful one, which would be diminished if exposed to heat.

  32. Crystal says:

    one more ingredient worthy to be part of the mix:

    ground cinnamon

    uff, now we're having it :o)

  33. Daniel says:

    I just started drinking tea every day even to replace water.
    I will try your recipe when I ran out of tea bags! lol

  34. vikki says:

    As a matter of fact, lemon creates an alkaline environment instead of an acidic one and in 1931 it was discovered that caner cannot grow in an acidic environment. It just will not survive. Research this for yourself.

  35. julie says:

    I work in a hospital ER, I'm constantly around sick people. I started drinking this last August and had my best winter yet. I did not catch any colds going around the office. there was a huge flu outbreak the worst of it from October through November. I did get the flu the end of December but have not been sick otherwise. I truly believe it's the honey lemon water should I drink everyday.

  36. Vijay says:

    This seems a good question Crystal Davis.
    Besides the points you mentioned, in such situations, gargling the mouth after taking the lemon/honey drink would also help.
    Thanks for sharing.

  37. rabbit says:

    Honey most certainly IS sugar. Honey has more fructose relative to glucose than does table sugar, but these are all simple sugars with similar actions in the body. (Fructose is metabolized slightly differently than sucrose, but this is only an issue if it is consumed in high qualities. The bottom line is that sugars are ALL very quickly digested carbohydrates.)

    As for acidity or alkalinity in the body, this balance is critical and thus the body has its own mechanisms to regulate it regardless of what we stuff into our mouths. Choosing more acidic or more alkaline foods does not change one's body chemistry in the least.

    If you doubt any of the above, check any high school science textbook.

    As for cancer, I doubt very much that drinking some lemon-honey water in the morning is going to have any adverse effects on anything except perhaps the teeth — unless the sugar consumption continues throughout the day, in which case obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are more likely to be concerns than cancer.

  38. Laurel says:

    40°C will not burn your mouth. 37°C is normal body temperature, so 40°C is just fever-temperature!

  39. Laurel says:

    40°C will not cause burns – It's only a little over the normal human body temperature of 37°C.

  40. mel says:

    I read your article a few months ago and started this as soon as my boyfriend said he felt a cold coming on. I successfully bypassed the cold for over a week and only really had stuffy sinuses but was fine enough. I actually also add a tea-tablespoon of raw Apple Cider Vinegar. gives it even more of that zesty hum (work up to a tablespoon, trust me!) but I feel like super woman. thanks for sharing. TRY THE ACV!!!! sending love from Adelaide 🙂

  41. Emily stone says:

    Warm to very water is best. That way the body doesn't have to work so hard to warm it up. The body just excepts and absorbs what it needs and discards the rest.

  42. Wow it must be super important to keep on top of nutrition when you work in an ER! It works so very well it still amazes me. Great to hear it protects you so that you can safely take care of others in need. Lovely! Thanks for reading my work 🙂

  43. Hooray Mel! Gllad to hear it helped you avoid the worst of it. ACV is the bomb! Totally onto that now, haven't tried adding it to my honey lemon water yet (which I love so much I will have trouble changing) but I know it can be so beneficial and it would combine the three awesome ingredients in one go! I will try it in the morning. Thanks so much for reading and connecting with me and my work! X

  44. Elise says:

    Could the lemon and honey be added to warm tea? Or is there something about it just being only lemon and honey? Does it have to be in the morning or any time of the day? I'm afraid the lemon would be to harsh on my stomach first thing in the morning.

  45. Amelia Boye says:

    Try drinking this with a straw to bypass acid on your teeth.

  46. Noon says:

    Hi! So what is the recipe that was used to create the water?

  47. Kiana says:

    i have been researching this a bit and wondered how soon after you drank the lemon water did you eat food? thanks!

  48. Helen Lo says:

    Thanks for all the info I love it ! More power

  49. Marguerite says:

    I have been drinking luke warm lemon water for years. It is an amazing detox/tonic for the liver. I take it an hour before I have my breakfast. Regarding essential oils, you will most likely loose some of the benefit but it is a great alternative if you have no lemons around. Essential oils can be ingested if they are therapeutic grade and made to be ingested. One brand that I know of is Young Living Oils. Not all the oils can be ingested but the ones that you find typically in food are made for that purpose. You can find out on the website which ones may and which ones should never be ingested. At any rate, essential oils are often used in creams and such and should be only of therapeutic grade as the skin is the largest organ in the body and is essentially ingesting the oils when rubbed on the skin.

  50. Bec says:

    Hi, I'm also in tassie, just wondering where you source your honey from?